Yaba Yaba

what? another blog? you must be joking.

Archive for the ‘networks’ Category

oh, the webs we weave, now in a browser near you

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Twine is looking like the first real world web3.0 (aka semantic web, aka ggg) service. Twine introduces itself as -

a new service that helps you organize, share and discover information around your interests, with networks of like-minded people. You can use Twine individually, with friends, or with groups, teams and communities.

yawn. been there, done that. right? except that Twine is semantic. It -

… automatically organizes information, learns about interests and makes recommendations. The more you use Twine, the better it gets to know you and the more useful it becomes.

In Twine not all tags are equal. A book’s author’s name is not the same as the place he lives or the organization he’s affiliated with. And not all things are equal, a book is not a bookmark, is not a video about it. Twine distinguishes between things, and tries to display content appropriately to its type. It also tries, with some success, to guess types tags and categories. Really interesting stuff. And it’ll be even more interesting when they get it to work properly (they’re not that far).

Another interesting thing about it is that everything is a twine, which is a kind of stream of stuff, and you can tune to, create and interleave many twines. So there’s the stuff I share with my family, the stuff I share with my office friends, the stuff I share with my high-school mates. There are some overlaps and cross-connections and I can manage them all by routing items to twines and inviting people to listen to the relevant threads.

A fresh approach, but is it too complex? It looks like its been designed for networked minds. Those of us who have been to all the twitters and pownces and are ready to move on. How many are there? And will our normal friends be able to follow a single twine, ignoring the rest? Time will tell.

(In case you’re about to ask, I’m out of invites but leave a comment here & I’ll call you when I get a new batch)

Written by yishaym

March 28, 2008 at 12:08 pm

FaceBook is evil.

with 4 comments

FaceBook’s strategy may be genius, or it may be bonkers. I’m betting on bonkers – and praying for it too. Yes, privacy is dead, it has been for a while now. But this is taking it to an extreme. There an old line from an old radio sketch that comes to mind: yes, everyone pisses in the pool, but they don’t do it from the top of the jumping board.

Google has been serving me ads tailored for my behaviour for ages. Whether it’s adsense or the little clips on my gmail. Amazon tells me that people who bought this book also liked that one. The big difference is that whatever is personal, stays personal. No one tells my friends what I bought unless I do.

Mr. Zuckerberg thinks we’re ready to cross that bridge: hand over whatever is left of our dignity to the noble cause of making corporates richer. It kinda makes sense with the MS deal. Funny, how the same people who will go to great lengths to protect “their” intellectual property (read: DRM) are so eager to violate ours.

The irony is that FaceBook will fail, but not because the masses will awake. It will fail for the same reason that Friendster, Yahoo360 and so many of its predecessors failed: our short span of attention, and our low tolerance of bad products. And let’s say it once and for all: FaceBook is a crap product. Don’t give me the 800M users can’t all be wrong. They’re not. They came, had some fun, and will soon move on to something new. Why? Because FB gives you very little in terms of actual social value. Ok, you threw a fish at me, I joined your save the penguins cause. Now what? What does FB give me, in terms of managing my life, that email doesn’t? In fact, in most cases – it’s just a pain compared to email. Even the big API hoo-ha turned out to be an embarrassment. The only FB applications that carry any weight are those that point you to external services, like Zoho. Believe me, I’ve tried them.

Now google, that’s a different story. I can communicate with my friends with gmail, share document and edit them collaboratively, coordinate social activities with my calender and mailing lists. And you know what? I don’t mind their targeted ads, because their targeting actually works: most of the content that gets pushed my way is actually of interest (compare FB: I’m still getting dating ads. Please someone tell them I’m in a relationship, been happily in one for decades. Oh – that’s on my profile).

Mr. Zuckerberg is a genius social engineer, but as a software engineer he sucks. He was smart to start with college kids and expand upwards. He rode the wave of carnival for a year, now the party’s over. Which is why he’s resorting to hysterical business strategies.

(originally posted as a comment on


(digg this)

Written by yishaym

November 10, 2007 at 2:02 pm


with one comment

I have a word for this. Fucksonomy.

(thanks Bracha for the links, and the plug).

Written by yishaym

March 7, 2006 at 11:53 am

Knowledge is a MMOG

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But, that’s all got to change. Why? Well, like a theory object, I still haven’t worked out an entirely satisfactory reason. But, because I’m not allowing myself to be embarassed by sharing evolving ideas I’ll risk embarassment and say it’s becuase in the knowledge ecology that is made possible by the world of connected thought — the Internet — creativity, innovation, making stuff that makes for more habitable, sustainable worlds is a massively multiplayer game.

That is why I blog this.

Julian Bleecker, EKO’s and Theory Objects, or — Why Do I Blog This?

Written by yishaym

March 1, 2006 at 1:56 am


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FreeCycle is great, but GarbageScout is just.. wow.

see, if the technology’s out there, eventualy people will figure out how to do something useful with it.


Its ubiquitos, its social, its mobile, its location based, its sustainable, and it enhances the most ancient human practice of all: scavenging other human’s rubbish.

(thanks wmmna)

Written by yishaym

January 26, 2006 at 1:33 am


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I’ve been using the tag hacktivism for a while now, which I guess is pretty self explanetory. Thing is, I thought I made it up and was the only one using it. But then today when I tagged MiniMe and Mahajivana‘s RFIDZapper, del.i recommended it.

I though, either this software is getting freaky or I’m not the only one using this tag.

Relax. no emergent intelligence here (yet), as is easy to see. But then I thought, if I made it up, have I started a meme?

Well, a few clicks  gave the answer to that. not the one I wanted, but nevertheless an answer.

Which got me thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to automate this? track a tag to its root, graph how it spreads, overlay that on googlemaps? yeah. anyone looking for a project?

Written by yishaym

January 12, 2006 at 5:47 pm

put your friends in their place

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Buddy map is a social networking tool that mashes your buddies over a google map.buddy map

Written by yishaym

December 9, 2005 at 11:17 am

Posted in google, maps, networks, Web 2.0

dawn yang dafne teo and now bruna bianco, or ant colony information dynamics

with one comment

So, I’ve said scale-free networks, I’ve said fish-school statistical mechanics, and here it is. Msrs. Ramos, Fernandes and Rosa have a model of social learning based on multi-agent simulation of ant colonies.

They begin by explaining:

Flocks of migrating birds and schools of fish are familiar examples of spatial selforganized patterns formed by living organisms through social foraging. Such aggregation patterns are observed not only in colonies of organisms as simple as single-cell bacteria, as interesting as social insects like ants and termites as well as in colonies of multi-cellular vertebrates as complex as birds and fish but also in human societies. Wasps, bees, ants and termites all make effective use of their environment and resources by displaying collective “swarm? intelligence. For example, termite colonies build nests with a complexity far beyond the comprehension of the individual termite, while ant colonies dynamically allocate labor to various vital tasks such as foraging or defense without any central decision-making ability. Slime mould is another perfect example. These are very simple cellular organisms with limited motile and sensory capabilities, but in times of food shortage they aggregate to form a mobile slug capable of transporting the assembled individuals to a new feeding area. Should food shortage persist, they then form into a fruiting body that disperses their spores using the wind, thus ensuring the survival of the colony.

And conclude:

Evolution of mass behaviours on time are difficult to predict, since the global behaviour is the result of many part relations operating in their own local neighbourhood. The emergence of network trails in ant colonies, for instance, are the product of several simple and local interactions that can evolve to complex patterns, which in some sense translate a meta-behaviour of that swarm. Moreover, the translation of one kind of low-level (present in a large number) to one meta-level is minimal. Although that behaviour is specified (and somehow constrained), there is minimal specification of the mechanism required to generate that behaviour; global behaviour evolves from the many relations of multiple simple behaviours, without global coordination (i.e. from local interactions to global complexity. One paradigmatic and abstract example is the notion, within a specified population, of common-sense, being the meta-result a type of collective-conscience. There is some evidence that our brain as well as many other complex systems, operates in the same way, and as a consequence collective perception capabilities could be derived from emergent properties, which cannot be neglected in any pattern search algorithm. These systems show in general, interesting and desirable features as flexibility (e.g. the brain is able to cope with incorrect, ambiguous or distorted information, or even to deal with unforeseen or new situations without showing abrupt performance breakdown) or versability, robustness (keep functioning even when some parts are locally damaged), and they operate in a massively parallel fashion. Present results point to that type of interesting features.

Written by yishaym

December 6, 2005 at 1:50 pm

I knew it.

with 3 comments

Folksomomies are scale free networks. Well, not surprising, given that almost anything interesting nowdays is.

Written by yishaym

November 30, 2005 at 2:24 am


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